Monday, August 10, 2020

Sputnik - Movie Review

The Movie: Sputnik

The Director: Egor Abramenko

The Cast: Oksana Akinshina, Fedor Bondarchuk, Pyotr Fyodorov

The Story: The lone survivor of an enigmatic spaceship incident hasn't returned back home alone-hiding inside his body is a dangerous creature.

The Review:
If you were to take ideas from Arrival, Predator, and Venom, depending on what direction you went, you could imagine a seriously bonkers movie coming out of that mix. While Sputnik is not an outright action packed science fiction extravaganza like Predator, it much more closely resembles the dramatic and methodical intensity of Arrival and then it also looks at Venom's alien symbiote concept in a whole new way. The crux of the story is that the cosmonaut is under intense scrutiny by various sections of the Russian government and keeping in mind it is set in the middle of the 1980's which was the height of what is known as the cold war era.

Director Egor Abramenko does a great job of balancing the political and military aspects of the story with characters that are truly compelling and especially in how they interact with each other. Of course, we've seen this type of story time and time again where the military is in opposition with science in what they are looking to achieve or gain from either learning from or exploiting the alien symbiote and its interaction with the human host although I didn't feel like it was overused or redundant in the story telling. There were also not a lot of special effects used in the movie although what we do see is very well executed. The alien itself also reminds me of the aliens we see in Arrival as well as several other movies so nothing too original here but it really didn't need to be. 

The three main characters in the story are all executed in a very subdued manner which I suppose goes well with the overall vibe of the story although I feel a stronger emotional punch would have benefited the ultimate outcome of the movie. I will say that I liked everything about the movie although with the one caveat being that there were very few wow moments. A movie like this could have really kicked up the shock value especially if it is going in as a horror movie. Or maybe I'm just jaded from watching so much horror that it takes more to get my attention. There is a fair amount of gore so be ready for that.
The Verdict:
Sputnik is one of those dark, creepy, gory, sci-fi stories that you run across late at night and can't take your eyes off of. Solid production all the way around although I feel like the story wanted and deserved a bigger ending that what we ultimately see. Still a good effort though that I would recommend to genre fans.

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